vrksa = tree
Step by Step
Stand in Tadasana. Shift your weight slightly onto the left foot, keeping the inner foot firm to the floor, and bend your right knee. Reach down with your right hand and clasp your right ankle.
Draw your right foot up and place the sole against the inner left thigh; if possible, press the right heel into the inner left groin, toes pointing toward the floor. The center of your pelvis should be directly over the left foot.
Rest your hands on the top rim of your pelvis. Make sure the pelvis is in a neutral position, with the top rim parallel to the floor.
Lengthen your tailbone toward the floor. Firmly press the right foot sole against the inner thigh and resist with the outer left leg. Press your hands together in Anjali Mudra. Gaze softly at a fixed point in front of you on the floor about 4 or 5 feet away.
Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to Tadasana with an exhalation and repeat for the same length of time with the legs reversed.
Watch a video demonstration of this pose.
- Strengthens thighs, calves, ankles, and spine
- Stretches the groins and inner thighs, chest and shoulders
- Improves sense of balance
- Relieves sciatica and reduces flat feet
Contraindications and Cautions
- Low blood pressure
- High blood pressure: Don't raise arms overhead
If your raised foot tends to slide down the inner standing thigh, put a folded sticky mat between the raised-foot sole and the standing inner thigh.
Stretch your arms straight up toward the ceiling, parallel to each other, palms facing, or touch the palms together forming an inverted V with the arms.
Modifications and Props
You can stand with your back braced against a wall if you feel unsteady in this pose.
If you are practicing Vrksasana with arms raised overhead, a partner can help you lift and lengthen your arms. First raise your arms perpendicular to the floor. Have your partner stand behind you and press inward against your outer upper arms, then lift your outer arms toward the ceiling. At the same time, draw your inner arms downward, from the wrists to the tops of the shoulders.
- Standing poses